Kim McKenna and Venessa Bentley
at Penelope Fibres Retreat
August long weekend, 2016


“A classic French pastry that is soft, light and intensely buttery….Brioche is delicious on its own or paired with a coffee or tea.”

Brioche knitting delights the senses with its shadowed layers and lofty, widely-ribbed surface; as delectable as the double layered French dinner roll, a possible reference to its name.  The interplay between fibre choice, yarn construction, and knitting technique is vital to the recipe for successful Brioche knitting.

At this year’s Edenvale Retreat Venessa will approach the intimidating process that Brioche knitting can be, by breaking off bite size pieces for you to savour.  Each step will be carefully examined and practiced, with a view to complete understanding, before moving on to the next piece.  Having a sense of the way this technique plays out into fabric, is a critical ingredient to the Brioche process, and will give you the freedom to explore further.

For the spinning component of Brioche, Kim will help you satisfy your craving for deliciously soft, light, airy yarns; helping you to master the woolen spinning draft.  Once your woolen spinning skills are nicely on the rise, we will take a look at some of the other key ingredients you need to consider, such as fibre characteristics, sheep breeds and plying technique.

The Ebb and Flow of Cable Work

Penelope Fibre Arts Second Annual Edenvale Retreat

Spinning the yarn with Kim McKenna of Claddagh Fibre Arts

Knitting the fabric with Venessa Bentley of Working Hands Fibre Arts

July 31, August 1 and 2, 2015

Edenvale Retreat and Conference Centre

Please contact Brenda to register


Edenvale41 Edenvale42 Edenvale43 Edenvale44

It was wonder-filled!  Here are the Edenvale Retreat memories. . . . . 

We hope to see you next year in one of those chairs!

A Summer Knitting and Spinning Retreat



August 1, 2, 3 2014

The subtle whisper of a glorious lace piece has the power to relieve and restore; to generate wonder and creativity. The interplay of positive and negative, of holes and solid background; of art and arithmetic, and of flowers and geometry, leave a lace knitter breathless.

Come along to share three days with us, and you will receive 10 hours of knitting and spinning instruction; allowing you time for exploration and discovery, as well as time to breathe. Explore the glory of expression through lace knitting with Venessa Bentley of The Working Hands Fibre Arts Studio, and discover the mysteries of spinning a lace yarn with Kim McKenna of Claddagh Fibre Arts. Come, take time out, allow yourself the gift of time to explore your magic, while working through the creative process.

Edenvale is close to Vancouver but feels miles away. There are lovely walking trails, an on-site masseuse (facials, pedicures and manicures too!), pool, wonderful, fresh food and plenty of quiet spaces to soak in the peace…


Our retreat package includes all meals, shared accommodation and ten hours of classes. Also included – a wine and cheese meet and greet, goody bags, gift exchange, show and tell and lots of fibre and yarns to tempt you from the on-site shop.

Arrival on Friday, August 1, at 2 pm and after, and departure on Sunday, August 3, after lunch.

Contact Penelope Fibre Arts to inquire and to register.

Knitting in The Pemberton Valley

Working Hands Fibre Arts Studio Knitting Retreat

Pemberton Valley Lodge
November 7, 8, 9, 2008

This is our second annual retreat and there are only a few spots left. We begin on Friday night with a meet and greet and light refreshments. A continental breakfast is served Saturday and Sunday mornings followed by a Yarn Market which this year includes:

Deidre Silva’s beautiful knit and crocheted jewelry

Trish Moon of Indigo Moon Yarns, with her natural hand painted yarns.

Catherine Simpson of Kensington Prairie Alpaca Farm, with her alpaca yarns and products, who will also be our guest speaker.

Vennie Chou and her natural beauty products

Venessa Bentley will present the knitting seminar Saturday morning and afternoon.

We will dine at The Vineyard

Catherine Simpson will speak and our Knit Factor Fashion Show will take place after dinner at The Vineyard on Saturday evening.

Knitting happens in all available spaces and in between massages by registered massage therapist and paramedic, Stacey Brown, who travels to our retreat from Ontario.
Great knitting locations are the hot tub, on the trail to the summit of Mount Currie, and in front of the lodge fireplace preferably in your sheep pajamas.

Thanks for the wonderful memories knitters!  Two successful retreats at this location have come and gone!  I hope I will see you soon at one of my other events.  Check back often!